Las Vegas Sun

August 21, 2019

Currently: 81° — Complete forecast

Vegas Play of the Day: Mercury at Sparks

The sixth season of the annual Play of the Day betting competition between the Sun's sports staff is now underway, effective July 1.

Bankrolls start at $10,000 for each of the four participants, with the objective to increase it as much as possible over the next year. The minimum daily wager is $300, with a $200 penalty assessed for failing to place a bet on an assigned day.

Past winners are Case Keefer in 2018-19 and 2017-2018, Ray Brewer in 2016-2017 and 2015-2016, and Taylor Bern in 2014-2015.

Phoenix Mercury plus-6 at Los Angeles Sparks, $330 to win $300:

My philosophy on betting basketball is just take the favorite. The talent discrepancy at most levels of the sport is typically too vast for the underdog to cover. But this one catches my eye.

The Sparks only have a two-game lead on the Mercury, who have split the season series with Los Angeles so far. Phoenix beat up on the Mystics on Sunday, and traveling to Los Angeles won't take the physical toll an East Coast swing would.

And Phoenix has the best player on the court in Brittney Griner, who leads the league with 19.3 points per game. In fact, the Mercury might have the second-best player on the court too in DeWanna Bonner. Making the home team the favorite makes sense, but six points is a big ask for Los Angeles.

Current Standings: Grimala (3-0, $10,925), Emerson (2-2, $9,200), Keefer (2-4, $7,305), Brewer (1-6, $6,800).